Supreme Court transfers 16 Bihar shelter home abuse cases to CBI

In a major setback to Nitish Kumar government in Bihar, indicating total collapse of law and order machinery in the state, the Supreme Court today directed the CBI to take over the probe into allegations of physical and sexual abuse of inmates at 16 shelter homes in Bihar.

A bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur transferred the investigation, being conducted by Bihar police, to the CBI while dismissing the state government’s request to not transfer the probe.

The apex court said the report of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) raises grave concern about 17 shelter homes in Bihar and CBI must look into all of them. CBI told the bench, also comprising Justice S A Nazeer and Justice Deepak Gupta, that in principle, it was ready to take over the investigation.

During a hearing on Monday, a bench had rapped the government for going “soft” on charges of child abuse at the shelter homes. It had indicated that it may hand over the case to the CBI. The Bench had accused the Bihar government of being “very selective” in registering FIRs against the perpetrators and asked whether these children were not citizens of India.

The agency is already investigating the Muzaffarpur shelter home case, in which it is expected to file a charge sheet by December 7. The apex court also said CBI officers probing the shelter home cases in Bihar shall not be transferred without its prior permission.

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